The best cultivar for an individual grower depends on the location, production practices, markets and personal preferences. There are a large number of poinsettia cultivars that can be produced successfully — too many for any one grower to be familiar with or even test all of them. This list of recommended cultivars is meant to aid growers in selecting cultivars to try, especially in light of the many new varieties introduced each year.
These recommendations are based on university trials and observations of commercial crops. Primarily, this list includes varieties that have been in our trials for at least two years. The cultivars listed as “worth watching” are the new ones that performed well in the fall 2003 trials. The cultivars listed under category/preference 1 are those that are most likely to work well in the widest number of situations.
Category/preference 2 contains those cultivars that will work, but the grower should be aware of its particular requirements. Those cultivars in category/preference 3 are a little more demanding or are less familiar. This list does not contain all cultivars and there are others that can be grown successfully where they meet specific grower needs and preferences.
Cultivars recommended for mass production in 6- to 61?2- inch containers are those with a low to medium growth habit, uniformity across the crop, early to midseason flowering, and high resistance to stress and disease in postharvest.
These cultivars work well for growers producing larger numbers and supplying mass-market retailers. These growers probably should not be using cultivars on the general greenhouse production list. Growers supplying other retail markets can choose from either list. We consider growers producing for these markets are more likely able to supply the particular culture required for a larger number of cultivars.
Also, these markets demand a more diverse cultivar selection and often want larger plants compared to mass-markets. Cultivars on the recommended for general greenhouse production list offer greater diversity to fit the needs of the specialty grower. Shipping and retail display conditions are important factors in poinsettia quality. The Type 1 cultivars, as indicated by the superscript, are not strongly recommended for larger growers, since those cultivars are more sensitive to stress of boxing, staying in the sleeve during retail or poor watering at retail.